Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ladees and Gents: Meet Mister Modesty, Tate Donovan

SELLER: Tate Donovan
LOCATION: Crest Way, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $789,000
SIZE: 1,279 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...This 2bd/2ba Spanish home has everything you want and more. Spacious & inviting living room w/ hdwd flrs and original tiled fireplace. Eat-in galley kitchen has been updated in keeping w/ classic nature of the home. Large formal dining room w/ coved ceiling. Newly-remodeled bathrooms with Master bath featuring Waterworks tile, Carrara marble & steam shower. Master suite features dual walk-in closets & opens to tranquil outdoor living space overlooking spa.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Every now and again Your Mama comes across a famous figure with a certain kind of real estate modesty and we are, well, yes, we are impressed. Even more so when it's a celebrity like successful, unassuming and likable actor Tate Donovan (Damages, The O.C., Hercules and etc.) who recently listed his Los Angeles house for $789,000.

Mister Donovan may be a low-key, bike riding and marathon running fiddler with almost no real estate pretensions, but he's also managed to bag and and snag some of Hollywood's leadingest ladees like Lauren Graham, Sandra Bullock, that poor, high maintenance and unlucky in love Jennifer Aniston not to mention a British born New York based socialite/writer named Plum Sykes.

Records reveal the recently dee-vorced Mister Donovan picked up his itty bitty Spanish style casa on Crest Way in September of 1999 for just $378,000. Records and listing information also show that the 1,279 square foot house, located on a quiet cul de sac in the Hills of Hollywood in a neighborhood called the Hollywood Dell, has just two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The front of the house is shielded by a tall (and tatty) privet hedge that hides the front façade comprised of a wide see-ment patio with a dozen or more potted plants of various varieties and a carved wood front door flanked by paned cottage style windows and inoperable shutters painted an unfortunate pinkish coral color. It looks like a slightly tidier sort of place Your Mama would have gone to buy weed back when we were at university.

Anyhoo, the front door opens to a living room with thin stripped and golden colored wood floors and listing information indicates the fireplace surround is original and which Your Mama thinks may (or may not) be made of Batchelder tiles. Mister Donovan, or perhaps his ex-wife, has filled the room with a sandy beige linen sofa opposite a wall mounted flat screen boob-toob, a light brown leather chair and hassock, a milk chocolate brown wicker rocker with ecru colored cushions, a taupe colored, vine patterned and circular rug and a wacky but visually enjoyable amoebic shaped wood coffee table. It's all very beige–and wicker is a forbidden material in Your Mama big book of acceptable decorative materials–but it also looks very cozy and comfortable and like someone not enamoured of their own fame and fortune actually lives here.

Beyond the living room is the dining room with a seriously ill-chosen chandelier (that is hung too high), a bunch of wood furniture that looks like it might have been picked up on travels to the Far East and a set of French doors opening to an intimate and covered patio that overlooks the backyard. The galley style kitchen and sky lit eating nook have a certain sort of cottage charm even if we don't understand or approve of the choice of checkerboard linoleum floor and the mint green faux-vintage refrigerator.

A guest room / office at the front of the house is well separated from the master at the back of the house with two renovated poopers in between. The master bedroom, according to listing information includes two walk in closets, French doors that open to the covered patio, and a bathroom with Carrara marble, fancy Waterworks fixtures and a steam shower. Your Mama loves us a steam shower. It's unclear why Mister Donovan would leave those depressing Pottery Barn curtain rods over the windows when there are no curtains hung from them.

The rear patio is tiled and trellised and includes a perplexedly low table at which one would have to squat or sit on the ground to use. A few steps down a stone terrace hosts sun beds for nood sunbathing and all sorts of drought friendly plantings and potted things. A short wall separates the patio from a spa which is surrounded by vegetation.

It's unclear to Your Mama why Mister Donovan would choose to sell his cozy casita now, after so many years...10 years in one house is a lifetime for most celebrities...but he is. And given that houses not in needs a full scale gut job in the Hollywood Dell rarely come to the market for under $800,000 we suspect this property will be in escrow in just a few weeks, if not a matter days. Trust Your Mama on this one. The market in L.A. may be weak, but this isn't a bad starting price for this house in this location. We're sure some of Your Mama's resident Chicken Little's are gonna rake us over the coals for saying that, but it's true.

Now then, it's back to the over-sized and insanely expensive properties we've become accustomed to seeing celebrities buy and sell.


Anonymous said...

I actually went to School with Tate in Northern NJ (Bergen Co) Still keep in touch with his Sister actually and have met up with Tate around the Holidays. He is a very unassuming guy and really would never know that he is in Movies when you are with him. The ladies seem to like him but he is grounded and natural much like his house.

angeleyes said...

Very nice place. I like it's homey atmosphere, and the fact that despite it's modest size, the living room is large enough to comfortably entertain a few guests. It looks to be a perfect place for singles, retirees, or a couple with no children living at home. It's quiet cul de sac location is very appealing too. Perhaps Mr. Donovan is selling it to shed reminders of his former marriage and make a fresh start. Thanks Mama :)

Anonymous said...

me like it, too.

doggy said...

I like his dark room

Anonymous said...

I can't see the pictures up close but think they probably are nondescript. I would put something else over the mantel and redo the fireplace decor. The dining room needs a large dramatic oil painting that extends down to the baseboard. The other pictures look dinky-doo and tasteless (altho as I said, I haven't been able to see them up close).

Anonymous said...

Hollywood Dell was ranked one of the 10 best LA neighborhoods you've never heard of by Los Angeles magazine a couple of years ago. It has been a haven for low key celebrities (and those who try to be low key) for decades.

The children may recall Mama's recent story about Zac Efron's grey mid-century house? It is in the Hollywood Dell, as is the house that chick from the Hills bought or rented.

The downside - Crest is more like an alley than a cul-de-sac, and it is in the bottom of the canyon so no views. Not the best location in the Dell.

Anonymous said...

That is an adorable looking little house. I would totally buy it. And you're correct, Mama, the price is gonna hook a fish real quick.

Anonymous said...

What a great, comfortable home. I'd buy it in a flash.

Anonymous said...

very nice home

fairfieldgirl said...

YUCK not for me. I do like the fireplace and bath.

Anonymous said...

No one mentions that this thing is about 2x overpriced considering the 1999 sales price?

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming Anon 1:24.